26 April 2006

Red Osiris

Dream Journey: I was on a domestic flight to somewhere in Tennessee, I think, seated near the back. People I had met before the flight that were going the same route in a rowboat met the flight as soon as we landed. One of the people on the plane with me named John who looked like John Cage jumped into the water and turned into a small red sea creature and broke into little pieces. I tried to put him back together to no avail.

Boarding the plane again I recounted this in a state of distress to the male steward and he shook his head and didn’t know what to do. Then there were large old hardbacks near my seat that I wanted to read, like Brecht’s diaries, and I wondered if I had brought them as a last minute whim, but an elderly woman dealer surfaced and let me look through the piles of used books on the plane.

13 April 2006

Holy Thursday

If you could press a button and do away with all biographies past and future once and for all, what would you do? I have found them quite helpful, but I’d press the button nonetheless, without pangs of guilt despite the impulse to post an entry called ‘Holy Thursday.’

In high school at a few minutes past eight a.m. we were grouped according to the alphabetical order of our last names in what was called ‘home room.’ That conjured an image of a ‘home room’ trio when I saw this sequence a while back in the index to Edmund White’s ‘Genet: A Biography’:

God, 26, 200, 211, 547, 604
Godard, Jean-Luc, 548
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 74, 198

Jean-Luc raises his hand and complains: "Why do you have to put me in with these punks?"

The Godard reference btw was about the fact that he bought the first video camera sold in France, and Genet, through a relatively affluent couple he knew, bought the second. Because of Genet and others from his generation who stated the passion but never got the chance to film (Artaud, Cartier-Bresson, etc.) it pains me to see celluloid wasted on junk. It is now of course when we start to see video images that contrast almost like celluloid.

There’s that scene in the recent Notre Musique, when Godard is asked something to the effect of "will video replace film" and he responds silently with a high contrast closeup on his face in celluloid.

I remind the reader that I am not in the least religious, but the other night I returned to this index and found a quite jovial Last Supper cast, extending the three out to 14 (with Madeline Gobeil, a student, as Mary Magdeline):

Giscard d’Estaing, Valery, 580, 581, 582, 586
Glas (Derrida), 564-7, 641 n. 4
Glucksmann, Andre, 571
Gobeil, Madeline, 469
God, 26, 200, 211, 547, 604
Godard, Jean-Luc, 548
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 74, 198
Goldgar, Harry, 295
Goldmann, Lucien, 424
Gombrowicz, Witold, 355-6
Gordone, Charles
Gospel According to Saint Matthew, The (film), 393
Gossett, Louis, 438
Gotham Book Mart, 347

Think what you wish of this, but I like Glas, Pasolini's Gospel According to Saint Matthew, and the Gotham Book Mart as apostles.

11 April 2006

Dream Journey

Ah, for a political sphere where a presidential frontrunner turns to Elena Poniatowska to answer his critics!

07 April 2006

Stupidity as revolution

Concerning the new Flarf battle spawned by this blog:

Being uneducated or, as Chris says, un-self-educated does not make you a revolutionary proletariat. Being ignorant is stupid, period. Being ignorant enough that you become appropriated into a Flarf PC joke means you are ignorant, a classless affliction. Ignorance is always a choice.

Accorded to my notions of class consciousness Flarf ranks somewhere near riding in the back of a pickup truck. Subject to wind patterns, noises, sights etc., less introspection, but you may see something or be part of something unique and of that precise moment of your perceiving.

As Clumsy Marxist Rants go my favorite is still Martin Tempralis’ in the 1961 essay anthology The Pooh Perplex:

"Scarcely less central a symbolic character than Rabbit is Owl, the pedantic plutocrat who resides at ‘The Chestnuts, an old-world residence of great charm, which was grander than anyone else’s.’ A spelling champion and a master of flowery, empty rhetoric, Owl is the necessary handservant to the raw acquisitive passion of Rabbit, which badly needs to be cloaked in grandiosities. The friendship of these two intellectual thugs is a perfect representation of the true role of ‘scholarship’ in bourgeois-industrial society: the end purpose of Owl’s obscure learning is to spread a veil of confusion over the doings of the fat cats, to cow the humble into submission before the graven idols of ‘objective truth’ and ‘the Western tradition,’ and to rob the proletariat of its power to protest. What could be more meaningful than the fact that Owl has stolen the very back tail from the back of Eeyore, the most downcast, bounced-upon member of society, and has converted it into a doorbell? When Pooh comes to retrieve it he is not offered so much as a lick of honey. Rabbit, the industrial manager, at least understood that one must give a subsistence in exchange for the worker’s largely unpaid toil, but Owl, the ‘pure’ scholar who confesses to be innocent of the ways of the world, excuses himself from even this much elementary compassion. The trahison des clercs is the correct name for this sort of thing." (23)

Followed by this from editor Frederick C. Crewes:

"Questions and Study Projects

"1. In our Freshman English courses we try to show that everyone, within very broad limits, is entitled to their own opinion on any subject. Do you feel that Tempralis was entitled to his 1939 opinions about Pooh? Why not?

"2. Tempralis seems obsessed with ‘fascism,’ doesn’t he? Look up this difficult word in your dictionary and explain its meaning to the class."